Welcome to issue 42 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 17 July 2014. This issue is kindly sponsored by CIFS.

  • Credit Insurance News and Reports
  • Industry Events and Offers
  • Business Info: Recommended Reports
  • Career Opportunities and New Appointments
  • About this issue's sponsor

Credit Insurance News and Reports
Finaccord expects major non-European economies to account for a rapidly rising proportion of the worldwide market for short-term trade credit cover. According to research published by Finaccord, the global market for short-term trade credit insurance was worth around US$10.2 billion in gross written premiums in 2013, and this figure is expected to rise to approximately US$13.0 billion by 2017. Based on research across 20 individual geographies, Finaccord estimates that the fastest-growing market for short-term trade credit insurance between 2009 and 2013 was the Middle East (comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia) with a compound annual growth rate of 38.2%, followed by China and Russia with 30.1% and 22.5% growth respectively. Looking ahead, as the market for credit insurance cover in most European countries is stagnant or delivering very low growth rates, Finaccord expects major non-European economies (including the US) to continue to account for a rapidly rising proportion of the worldwide market for short-term trade credit cover. To view Finaccord's press release go to http://www.finaccord.com/documents/press_releases/2014/press_release_trade_credit_insurance_global.pdf.
The full report is available from Finaccord for £2995 - see http://www.finaccord.com/uk/report_trade_credit_insurance_major_global_markets.htm.

The future of Trade Credit and Surety Insurance. A new white paper 'The future of Trade Credit Insurance' has been published by Russell Group Limited, for which Robert Nijhout, Executive Director at ICISA was interviewed. The white paper explores the current export and credit environment, supply chain disruption, global sovereign debt concerns, and the threats posed by non-payment and political risks. How can these be evaluated and what internal/external processes and controls can be introduced to mitigate these risks? Robert Nijhout, Executive Director of the ICISA,  commented: “The Credit Insurance asset is unlike other insurance classes, in that the advisory and predictive function that trade credit insurance underwriters provide is extremely valuable for traders and exporters, allowing them to pre-select markets and buyers. . .There is a very close partnership between the insured and the underwriter.” To view the full report go to http://www.icisa.org/position-papers/2044/.

Atradius advises that 2014 will be the seventh year of below-peak performance in the eurozone. Atradius has published a report, 'Is the euro crisis over?' which questions whether the economic crisis over the past few years is truly over and advises that the eurozone economy was still 2.5% smaller at the end of the first quarter of 2014 than it was before the crisis. This means that 2014 will be the seventh year of below-peak performance. The situation is most severe in the Southern European member states: Italy and Spain are currently 9% and 7% smaller than in 2008, while Greece has lost a quarter of its economic output. The report cautions that the eurozone economy is unlikely to recover lost ground soon. To view the full report go to http://www.atradius.co.uk/images/stories/economic_outlook/Atradius_Economic_Research-Is_the_euro_crisis_over_june2014.pdf.

Euler Hermes reports that companies in Asia-Pacific are turning to trade credit insurance in increasing numbers. Anil Berry, Euler Hermes' commercial head Asia-Pacific, has written an article for Post Online, 'C-Suite: Protecting trade in Asia', which reports that companies in Asia-Pacific are turning to trade credit insurance in increasing numbers to support and enable their business growth. Although, as Mr Berry advises, Asian businesses have historically put their faith in strong commercial and personal relationships with trading partners, Euler Hermes has found that: " two-thirds of claims reported to us over the past two years involved customers who had been buying from their supplier for more than five years." In addition, the financial crisis has altered traditional trading patterns and many Asian businesses are being forced to seek new opportunities in new markets in the emerging world with less or little known trading partners. "All this means trade credit insurance penetration in Asia - while still low compared with the longer established Western European markets - is growing rapidly." To view the article go to http://www.postonline.co.uk/post/opinion/2354544/c-suite-protecting-trade-in-asia. (Subscription may be required. Free trials are available).

Suppliers take out trade credit insurance against the Co-op Group. An article in The Grocer, ‘Suppliers take out trade credit’, has reported that suppliers are taking out trade credit insurance – for the first time in some cases – to protect themselves from the risk of non-payment by The Co-op Group. Insurers say it is very unusual for suppliers to take out cover for a major food retailer, but there has been a stream of enquiries ever since issues at The Co-op become newsworthy. The article also advises that although cover for The Co-op can easily run into six figures, some consider it to be a prudent investment. Mike Clark, director of Credit Risk Solutions, is quoted. To view the article go to http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/channels/supermarkets/the-co-operative-group/co-op-group-suppliers-take-out-trade-credit-insurance/359266.article. (Subscription may be required).

Coface predicts a considerable slowdown in the Brazilian economy in 2014. Coface has advised that it expects a considerable slowdown of GDP in Brazil during 2014 (+1.3% in 2014, down from +2.5% in 2013), and warns that 2014 will be marked by low activity and high inflation due to household consumption growing at a slower pace, investments losing momentum and a weak trade balance. Furthermore, Coface advises that the World Cup will only benefit specific trade sectors - specifically tourism, restaurants and clothing - and will have damaged many industries and services who were obliged to halt activity on match days. Thanks to both the World Cup and presidential elections, the business calendar will also be shorter in Brazil this year. Patricia Krause, Economist for the Latin America region at Coface, commented: "Brazil has already begun 2014 with a downgrade by rating agencies. In March 2014, Coface also downgraded Brazil from A3 to A4." To view Coface's news release with a link to its full Panorama report go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Downgraded-to-A4-Brazilian-economy-gears-towards-a-year-of-adjustments-in-2015.

Euler Hermes upgrades 11 countries risk ratings: Côte d'Ivoire, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Portugal, Serbia, and Spain.  In a news release, Euler Hermes' advises that advanced economies are "back in the game with an expected growth of almost +2% in 2014, the fastest since 2010." The eurozone should also improve by 1% after two years of contraction, and in the southern eurozone, exports should help countries exit recession. However, overall, emerging markets remain the most crucial contributors to global growth (+4.3% in 2014), with growth in India forecast to accelerate to +5.6% in 2014. Ludovic Subran, Euler Hermes’ chief economist, commented: “Against a gradually improving global economic outlook, Euler Hermes has upgraded 11 countries ratings. However, while global insolvencies are projected to decrease by -8% in 2014, they remain 13% above the pre-crisis level, meaning the 2009 crisis has not been absorbed yet." To view Euler Hermes' news release with details of each country upgraded go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/upgrade-11-countries-risk-ratings.aspx.

2 new reports from Atradius suggest that the Czech Republic is a potentially profitable market at the heart of Europe. Atradius has published its latest 'Trade Successfully with . . '  guide. 'Trade successfully with the Czech Republic',  (the tenth in the series), which looks at ten principles that those seeking to expand their sales strategy into the Czech Republic should follow to avoid the pitfalls of trading in untried territory. The report advises that exporters looking for a potentially profitable market at the heart of Europe, with a resurgent economy and a taste for a wide range of foreign products and expertise, could do a lot worse than to target the Czech Republic. GDP is forecast to grow by more than 2% in 2014, while a recent OECD report (May 2014) forecasts stronger consumer confidence and higher real incomes: a positive sign for foreign exporters targeting this market. To view the Guide go to http://www.atradius.co.uk/images/stories/Trade_successfully_with_the_Czech_Republic.pdf. Atradius' latest Country Report on the Czech Republic is also available at http://global.atradius.com/images/stories/CountryReports/Czech_Rep_July_2014.pdf.

The Turkish Economy: Coface advises what to expect in 2014. Coface has advised that prior to the forthcoming presidential elections in August 2014, it is cautious in its assessment of corporate risks in Turkey. Coface warns in a detailed news release that if political tensions rise again (as has already happened in December and January) investors may flee the country which could result in a fluctuation in Forex markets and negatively impact the corporate sector’s external debt stock - already at a record high. In addition, growth in 2014 is expected to weaken as the domestic demand decelerates due to higher interest rates and restrictions aimed at curbing excessive loan growth. Taking these factors into consideration, Coface has placed a negative watch on its current A4 country risk assessment of Turkey. To view Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/The-Turkish-economy-what-to-expect-in-2014.

Euler Hermes' latest US Food Industry Outlook warns US food suppliers about an increased risk of payment defaults and insolvencies. Umar Sheikh, food industry expert at Euler Hermes Americas warned that domestic US problems such as the 2012 droughts in Mid-West and currently in California, combined with increasing international dependence on US food production, will mean that any supply disruption will be “far reaching”. In addition, cattle inventories have reached lows not seen since the 1950’s. In this context Sheikh has warned that US food suppliers should consider that the pressure on short-to medium-term margins could see increased risks of payment defaults and insolvencies. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Euler-Hermes-US-food-industry-outlook.aspx.

Euler Hermes reports that the American Chemistry Council expects US chemicals sector revenues to exceed $1 trillion by 2018, up from $770 billion currently. Euler Hermes latest Industry Outlook on the US Chemicals Industry advises that the industry is expected to improve on its modest 2013 growth as major key end-markets continue to recover. “Industry production is anticipated to grow by approximately 3% in 2014 and about 3.5% in 2015,” said Sergei Shchepochkin, chemicals industry expert at Euler Hermes Americas. “This growth is supported by continued strong performance in the automotive industry and an improving situation in several other key end-markets such as appliances, construction, industrial machinery and plastics." To view the Outlook go to http://www.eulerhermes.us/economic-research/economic-publications/Documents/EH-IndustryOutlook-Chemicals-July2014.pdf.

Aon's interactive Political Risk Map will be available on iOS devices from July 2014. Aon has developed a mobile App for tablets and smartphones, the Risk Map App, which provides access to a one-stop platform hosting all current and historical Political Risk information on 163 emerging markets and identifies key risks. For more information and to download the map go to http://www.aon.com/2014politicalriskmap/?utm_source=aon.com&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=2014polriskmap or alternatively visit the Apple Store.

Euler Hermes cautions that French businesses are finding it difficult to capture the economic recovery. Euler Hermes' has published its latest macroeconomic forecasts for France and French businesses, and has warned that although France will gradually return to growth (1.2% predicted inn 2015) this will not be strong enough to ensure a real decline in insolvencies. In fact, overall insolvencies will remain at a record high.  “French businesses are finding it difficult to capture the economic recovery. We can see a slight upturn in activity but growth appears to be blocked by reduced creation of value resulting from disinflation in France and the eurozone,” Nicolas Delzant, Chairman of the Board of Management of Euler Hermes France, commented. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Euler-Hermes-Without-support-inflation-hesitant-recovery-is-not-enough-to-boost-turnover-French-businesse.aspx.

Euler Hermes' video clip predicts that 2014 will be a turning point for Spain and introduces Euler Hermes report ' Insolvency World Cup 2014: Who will score fewer insolvencies?' Euler Hermes has published a video on its website to accompany its recent report 'Insolvency World Cup 2014: Who will score fewer insolvencies?' (see Digest: 12 June), in which Euler Hermes' Chief Economist and Director of Economic Research, Ludovic Subran, introduces Euler Hermes' global insolvency forecasts for 2014. Mr Subran advises that while the good news is that global insolvencies are set to decrease by 8% in 2014, the number of failing companies will still be 23% above pre-crisis levels in 2013. A number of countries (including the UK and the US) will see a reduction in insolvencies, although the most significant drops will be in Spain and the Netherlands. In particular, this year will mark a turning point for Spain - with a 23% decrease in insolvencies predicted. To view the clip go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/economic-research/economic-publications/economic-outlook/Pages/default.aspx.

Atradius video clip presents Serv@Net. Atradius has published a video clip to present its online customer tool, Serv@Net, which it advises provides Atradius' customers with a single, integrated platform and access to all their policy and credit limit information, "to improve your trade from good enough to better than the rest." To view the clip go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmimZT4tlu0.

Please note that subscriber's attention is also drawn to the following clip from CNBC:
Euler Hermes' CEO discusses how China's Qingdao port probe has raised the need for trade insurance - http://www.cnbc.com/id/101828420.

Congratulations to:
Marsh has been named Best Global Trade Insurance Broker by Trade Finance Magazine's Award for Excellence. Marsh was also named Best Trade Insurance Broker in the Asia and Latin American regions. Evan Freely, Global Leader of Marsh's Credit and Political Risk Practice, commented: "Marsh's award reflects the growing importance of insurance as a credit risk mitigation tool for financial institutions in both the public and private sector, and its role in facilitating additional capacity for lenders to support their customers." To view Marsh's news release go to http://uk.marsh.com/NewsInsights/PressReleases/MarshPressReleases/ID/40944/Marsh-Named-Best-Global-Trade-Insurance-Broker-by-Trade-Finance-Magazine.aspx.

GTR has announced the winners of its GTR Asia Leaders in Trade 2014 awards. The winners include: Aon for Best Trade Credit and Political Risk Insurance Broker in Asia Pacific, Euler Hermes for Best Trade Credit Insurer in Asia Pacific and ACE for Best Political Risk Insurer in Asia Pacific. For more information and to view a complete list of all the winners go to http://www.gtreview.com/global-trade-review-magazine/2014/June/GTR-Asia-Leaders-in-Trade-2014_11751/.

Industry Events, Offers and Training
GTR Asia Trade Finance Week 2014. 9-11 September. Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore.
Incorporating the 6th Annual Asia Trade & Export Finance Conference, Supply Chain Workshop, GTR Asia Leaders in Trade Awards and various networking events, GTR Asia Trade Finance Week is now accepted as the world’s premier trade finance gathering for discussing key regional and global themes. The event is expected to welcome over 600 high level delegates, including companies of all sizes from all manner of sectors. Recognising Singapore’s position as a global trade hub, considered as the crossroads for suppliers and buyers worldwide, attention will turn to both the significance of Asia’s regional and global trade flows, as well as casting a keen eye on some of Asia’s most exciting and thriving markets. With official support from IE Singapore, as well as over 35 global institutions, this is an event not to be missed. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Global Commodity Trade Finance Conference. 16 September 2014, Lugano, Switzerland.
Global Trade Review (GTR) is delighted to announce that the inaugural Global Commodity Trade Finance Conference will be taking place in Lugano, Switzerland in September 2014. Held in partnership with the Lugano Commodity Trade Association (LCTA) and reflecting Switzerland’s role as the world’s leading commodity trade hub, the event is ideally placed to provide timely insight on the significance of the global trading market and the challenges faced, both in the local markets and the opportunities faced further afield. Huge emphasis will be placed on the importance of networking, in which an abundance of such opportunities will be provided over the course of the event. Delegates will also have the opportunity to plan and organise private meetings with fellow attendees prior to the conference. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

3rd Annual West Coast Trade & Export Finance Conference. 16 October, Los Angeles. United States.
GTR are delighted to announce that the 3rd Annual West Coast Trade & Export Finance Conference will be held in Los Angeles for 2014. With a city responsible for over $400 billion worth of trade and a state that contributes 11% of total US exports, this one-day conference will be a key meeting point for the producers, importers, exporters, financiers and service providers of one of the most dynamic trade centers in the world. As the only gathering of trade finance practitioners on the West Coast, hear industry leaders discuss the financing demands of corporate organisations as well as the complexities of seeking new opportunities in emerging markets. Focus will center on both the development of operational strategies and the technical aspects of trading and creating supply chains across borders. Given the high-level delegation in attendance, networking is not to be missed. Engage with decision makers before the conference through the GTR online networking site, during the conference within dedicated networking sessions, and finally at a cocktail drinks reception at a central Downtown location. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Alternative and Receivables Finance Conference, 17 October 2014. London, UK.
At this timely one day conference, SMEs and their advisers will be meeting to discuss how alternative finance options are changing the funding landscape as well as how traditional and alternative finance can work together to help SMEs prosper. 20+ Speakers include the British Business Bank, Lloyds Bank, Marketinvoice, Platform Black, P2P CS, Bibby Financial Services and many more. The conference is actively supported by the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business as well as ACCA and ABFA. Click here for the programme. There is also a separately bookable Introduction to Receivables Finance Masterclass 16th October which covers credit insurance, invoice discounting and supply chain finance. A 10% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN10. In addition, we are delighted to offer 5 free delegate passes to the event for any B2B SMEs amongst our subscribers. Attendees must be chief executives or CFOs. For details, please email Sally at Credit Insurance News.

6th Annual West Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference. 22-23 October, Lagos, Nigeria.
GTR will be holding the 6th Annual West Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference in Lagos, Nigeria, for the first time. Given Nigeria’s rise to prominence and West Africa’s growing prosperity, the focus of the conference will look at the industries and sectors that have been instrumental in developing one of the most exciting regions in world trade. This two-day event will bring together delegates from corporate, banking and financial services organisations to discuss key market issues within agribusiness, hard commodities, risk mitigation and infrastructural development. Specialist speakers will engage with high level delegates through specific transaction case studies, roundtable discussions, onstage interviews, and live question and answer sessions. As the only dedicated trade, commodity and export finance conference in West Africa, this will be a networking opportunity not to be missed for anyone undertaking or looking to do business in the region. Meet with decision makers before the conference through the GTR online networking site, during the conference within dedicated networking sessions, and at an exclusive evening cocktail drinks reception. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Inaugural Romania Trade & Export Finance Conference, 30 October, Bucharest.
GTR’s inaugural Romania Trade & Export Finance Conference will take place in Bucharest in October 2014. Well timed to provide detailed insight on the opportunities offered to Romanian companies through tapping into high-growth emerging market trade flows, the gathering will showcase the trade finance sector’s role in providing risk mitigation and funding for cross-border business with non-traditional trade partners. Drawing on GTR’s global network and extensive experience in organising market leading trade finance events, the conference will feature an in-depth agenda outlining the full range of funding tools currently enabling the corporate financier to overcome the challenges posed by a post-crisis environment. Further providing numerous high-level networking opportunities across an international audience, the Romania Trade & Export Finance Conference constitutes a key diary fixture for all those seeking to build connections and get ahead in this exciting market. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Understanding International Credit Reports: New training course. Various dates throughout 2014.
Graydon has announced that it is introducing a new training course, Understanding International Credit Reports. The one-day course will examine: report content by region (MENA, North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Far East & 'Tax Havens'), sources of data (Credit Agencies, Public Registries, Local Agent in undeveloped markets & Law Firms), credit scoring/ratings and pricing. The course costs £599 + VAT (a 10% discount is offered to Credit Insurance News Digest readers) and will be held on various dates throughout the year. For more information, please go to https://www.graydon.co.uk/understanding-international-credit-reports-CIN-members.

Business Information: Latest Reports and Business Shorts
Italy: chastised for being "the worst payer in Europe." Graydon has advised that in an unusual move that could leave other EU Member States concerned, the European Commission (EC) has sent a formal notice of infringement to Italy’s state leaders for making late payments. As outgoing EC vice president for industry, Antonio Tajani, recently commented, "Italy is the worst payer in Europe." On average, Italian public bodies take 170 days to pay for goods and services – increasing to 210 days for public works. The EU directive orders that all enterprises must pay their outstanding debts within 60 days, unless the time limit is ‘grossly unfair’. Amendments to this limit must be expressly agreed by both parties. The EC is also currently in the process of investigating Slovakia for the same breaches of regulations. To view Graydon's article go to https://www.graydon.co.uk/blog/article/2014/07/02/how-to-comply-with-the-eu-late-payment-directive.

12% of UK SMEs have dangerously high trade debt levels. New research from Debt Guard Solicitors has found that each UK SME was burdened with an average trade debt of £1.3 million during the last financial year, suggesting that despite the economic upturn, the strain on Britain’s smallest businesses remains severe. Micro-SMEs with 1-9 staff and a turnover of less than £2 million were proportionately the hardest hit, with each contending with £68,000 worth of trade debt and 12% with dangerously high trade debt levels that reached one third of their annual turnover. The overall indebtedness of the UK SME market reached £6.3 trillion in 2013/14, with late payment a major contributory factor. To view Debt Guard Solicitors' news release go to http://debtguard.co.uk/CMS/Home/Index?MenuId=72.
(Note: We are delighted to advise that Debt Guard is currently offering readers of Credit Insurance News Digest a free solicitor letter. For more information and to claim the letter please see the offer on our 'Events and Offers' page or click here).

UK companies face a late payment burden of £46.1 billion. New research from Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs) shows quite clearly that SMEs are being forced to carry the larger debt burden of £39.4 billion, while corporates are owed £6.7 billion at any one time. The research also found that 60% of UK SMEs are now experiencing late payments - with the average SME waiting for £38,186 in overdue payments - and one in four SMEs admitting that if the amount they are owed grew to £50,000 it would be enough to send them into bankruptcy. In contrast, the average corporate is owed almost a million pounds. On top of that, UK businesses are being forced to bear additional costs of £9.16 billion a year due to late payments, with 30% saying they’re spending around £500 a month as a consequence of money owed to them. The knock-on effect of late payments means that 25% of companies are being forced to pay their own suppliers late. To view Bacs' news release go to http://www.bacs.co.uk/Bacs/DocumentLibrary/UK_companies_face_a_late_payment_burden_of_%C2%A346.1_billion.pdf.

UK business distress staying near record lows. According to the latest Business Distress Index from R3, levels of UK business growth remain at record highs and business distress near record lows. An equal-record 68% of businesses are showing one key sign of business growth in the latest edition of the long-running survey, while just 35% are showing at least one key sign of distress - slightly up from February’s record low of 33%. However, the latest Index shows that signs of growth and distress are still uneven around the country. Whereas 73% of businesses in the South are reporting at least one sign of growth, this falls to 69% in the Midlands, and 59% in the North. Correspondingly, while 34% of businesses in the South and 30% of businesses in the Midlands are reporting at least one sign of distress, this increases to 43% in the North. R3 president Giles Frampton says: “While it’s good to see growth continuing apace in all the UK’s regions, Westminster needs to bear in mind the fact that the South is pulling further and further away from the rest of the country in terms of economic performance." To view R3's news release go to http://www.r3.org.uk/index.cfm?page=1114&element=20025&refpage=1008.

The UK economy is set to overtake France by 2020 and narrow the gap with Germany by 2030. The UK will become the second largest economy in the EU, overtaking France before 2020 and closing the gap with Germany according to new projections from economists at PwC. By 2030 the UK’s economy is likely to have been leapfrogged by India, but should remain the sixth largest economy in the world based on GDP at market exchange rates. Barret Kupelian, economist at PwC and co-author of the report, said: “The UK economy has regained its dynamism recently in contrast to France in particular. The UK should also narrow the GDP gap with Germany over time . . .In the longer run, other emerging markets may overtake the UK, but only India looks set to do so before 2030 according to our latest projections based on GDP at market exchange rates.” To view PwC's news release go to http://pwc.blogs.com/press_room/2014/07/size-of-uk-economy-to-overtake-france-by-2020-and-narrow-the-gap-with-germany-by-2030.html.

Global trade and is set to improve but is being held back by a shortfall in trade finance. GTR (Global Trade Review) has published an article, 'Global trade: a few 'ifs' persist', in which Vincent O’Brien, chair of the ICC Banking Commission’s Market Intelligence Group discusses with GTR the findings of the ICC’s Global Survey 2014: Rethinking Trade and Finance, which involved representation from 298 banks in 127 countries. On the plus side, although rates of growth are still well below those before, and even after, the global financial crisis, Mr O' Brien advises that trade is growing and, on an annualised basis, was a shade above 3% in 2013. Further improvements are also on the horizon: the annualised growth rate picked up to 4% during Q1 2014 and should accelerate to exceed 5% through 2016. On the negative side, there is still a trade finance funding gap with 41% of respondents to the Survey reporting a perceived shortfall in trade finance globally. Mr O' Brian comments that this is particularly hard on two groups – SMEs and those in emerging markets. To view GTR's article go to http://www.gtreview.com/trade-finance/global-trade-review-news/2014/July/Global-trade-a-few-ifs-persist_11773.shtml.

A major study of invoices reveals the extent of late payment in the UK. An analysis by MarketInvoice of nearly 6,000 invoices with blue chip debtors has found that more than half (56%) are paid late. Of those invoices that were paid late, on average the payment was made 17 days beyond the contracted terms and nearly one in ten (9.7%) was paid more than 30 days late. MarketInvoice CEO Anil Stocker commented: “It has become a dangerous norm for blue chip organisations to pay invoices beyond the agreed terms. Consistent late payment damages our economy and almost every high street name you can think of is doing it." To view MarketInvoice's news release go to http://marketinvoice.com/2014/07/09/more-than-half-of-blue-chip-invoices-paid-late/.

UK manufacturing confidence falters. According to the latest Business Trends report by BDO LLP, optimism among UK manufacturers dipped in June for the first time in 14 months, as challenging operating conditions threaten to slow confidence growth in the sector. The BDO Optimism Sub-Index for the manufacturing sector, which predicts growth expectations in six months' time, fell from 121.0 in May to 119.5 in June. Although it remains well above the 100 mark that indicates the long term growth trend, the dip suggests that manufacturers are taking a more considered approach to potential challenges, such as rising operating costs, which could act as a drag on growth. In contrast, the outlook for the services sector is brighter, and June's Optimism Sub-Index for services firms accelerated from 101.1 to 101.9 in June. This renewed confidence more than made up for the slack left by manufacturers, as the services sector represents a much larger part of the economy. To view BDO's news release go to http://www.bdo.co.uk/press/uk-manufacturing-confidence-falters-as-operating-conditions-threaten-growth2.

One in three UK SMEs are reluctant to chase bad debt.. One in three SMEs are reluctant to chase debt owed to them by a customer, according to a new survey. Of those who admitted a reluctance, 81% said they simply felt uncomfortable chasing customers for payment, while the remaining 19% said it was because they didn't want to antagonise customers. The survey also showed that more than a third said they had written off thousands of pounds worth of debt each year. Meanwhile, a separate survey from Hilton-Baird Collection Services found that 56% of businesses wrote off more than 1% of their turnover as uncollectable in 2013 alone. To view Hilton-Baird's news release go to http://www.hiltonbaird.co.uk/Business-Finance-Blog/292/One-in-three-SMEs-reluctant-to-chase-bad-debt/.

BCC survey finds that while 90% of UK businesses have ambitions to grow domestically, less than half of firms have ambitions to grow internationally. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published the results of a major international trade survey, looking at the barriers facing existing and potential UK exporters. Made up of responses from more than 4,700 businesses, the results show that while the majority of firms have ambitions to grow domestically, less than half (43%) are looking to expand their business overseas. The Survey also found that Europe and Asia remain the most popular export regions for UK businesses, and of the additional 21 ‘high-growth markets’ identified by UK Trade and Investment (41 in total) Japan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan and Hungary are perceived as providing the greatest opportunities for growth in the next five years. 52% of current exporters are currently exporting to one of these ‘high-growth markets’. To view BCC's press release go to http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/bcc-uk-must-think-global-to-fulfil-its-economic-potential.html.

Companies House data will become free in 2015. Companies House has announced that it is to make all of its digital data available free of charge from the second quarter of 2015. This will make the UK the first country to establish an open register of business information, and will mean that digital information on basic information about a UK company and its accounts etc will be available without charge (normal cost £1) for website users.

Career Opportunities: New Opportunities
Account Management, Atradius Birmingham. Competitive salary bonus scheme plus car.
An exciting opportunity with a global market leader in credit insurance services. This role would suit candidates with experience gained in a client facing account management role, consultative business development or sales remit where building lasting business relationships with clients is essential. Ideally you will have previous account management experience, but we will also consider individuals who know the sector well and want to take a step up into this exciting role. Experience gained in the Insurance, Credit, Financial Services industry or selling a similar product would be an advantage. To succeed in the role you will need to be able to demonstrate that you have a proven external client facing account management or sales background and an ability to work and negotiate with senior managers and related industry professionals. You should have the ability to plan and execute your work independently. The position will involve: Working with our Broker network to service and grow an existing book of clients to meet and exceed sales and retention targets. Making presentations to clients, brokers and other industry professionals. Managing a portfolio of clients, servicing their ongoing needs. Negotiate and close renewal of the policies within the portfolio. Developing a plan to achieve organisation revenue expectations in target segments. The ideal candidates for this role should have: 3 years of /account management/sales experience preferably with financial products. Experience in a client facing role. Exceptional communication skills (both verbal and written). Strong knowledge of business, trade or financial products. The ambition and attitude to succeed. Full clean driving license. The salary and contract terms are very competitive with equivalent posts in this sector and you will also benefit from a generous commission structure, the post also attracts a company car. Please apply via gbukjobs@atradius.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Political Risk Underwriter / Senior Underwriter, London.
A major company in the London market are seeking an additional Underwriter/Senior Underwriter to join their team. Working with some very experienced and well respected talent you’ll be responsible for the profitable underwriting of new and renewal business across CEN/CF/CR. Experience of understanding / analysing financials is highly desirable as CR makes up almost 50% of the portfolio. This company are in a strong position with both rating and risk appetite which includes non-trade and private obligor business, writing tenors of up to 15 years with the ability to place large lines. Typically a lead market they are looking for someone who has experience as an Assistant Underwriter / Underwriter and wants to take a step up. You’ll be heavily responsible for networking and socialising within the London Market and must have a current market presence. Salary & Authority Level dependent on experience. Skilled, social and technical brokers might also be considered. Please contact Kerren Leach on kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com / 0207 092 3283 for a confidential discussion. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Class Underwriter – Political Risks, London.
A well established and well respected syndicate are looking to grow out their PRI offering with a talented Underwriter. You’ll be responsible for managing the existing book of business whilst quoting and underwriting new enquiries, partly driven by the broking community and partly driven by this organisation’s parent company, who have an enviable footprint and distribution network. There is no intention for this firm to write CR business and hence you must be willing and capable to focus on CEN/CCP/CF business from traders & corporates. Excellent position within Lloyds, sensible but healthy line size and good aggregate limits make this an attractive proposition for the right candidate. Long Term Incentive Plan as well as good annual bonuses exist and can be structured around you. Please contact Kerren Leach on kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com / 0207 092 3283 for a confidential discussion. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Still Recruiting . . .
Credit Insurance Consultant in Direct and Bank, London to cover South East. Euler Hermes.
Salary: Depending on experience, plus exceptional commission scheme, non-contributory pension, car, laptop, i-pad, blackberry, share incentive scheme, discounted gym membership, discounted healthcare and additional benefits.
If you are looking to develop and grow your already exceptional sales talent within a thriving company then look no further. In order to succeed in this role you will need experience in a target driven sales role within professional services. You will possess a positive, pro-active attitude along with a passion and drive to succeed. This is a challenging role for an experienced business to business field sales person.
Responsibilities: To deliver on target good quality business revenue and to represent Euler Hermes in a professional and ethical manner. To manage a local database of prospects and introducers and to provide accurate management information on a regular basis.
Requirements & Key Skills: A proven track record in business to business field sales. An exceptional level of business acumen and commercial awareness. Strong relationship building experience, with both potential clients and business introducers. Corporate in both manner and appearance. The ability to read and perform basic analysis of a set of accounts. Experienced in consultative selling at board level. The ability to present technical information effectively. Experience of using CRM systems. Please apply through the e-recruitment system located on the careers page of our website - click here. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

On the Road Credit Analyst, Birmingham. Euler Hermes Services UK. Salary: Competitive remuneration package including, bonus, non-contributory pension, home working and additional benefits.
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join our Birmingham Risk Office team. If you enjoy working in a role which requires financial analysis, high level meetings, and portfolio management, then this is the role for you. You will be a self-sufficient individual with the ability to proactively work on your own initiative, including management of your diary, to ensure that you are able to effectively monitor a portfolio of risks in the Midlands. Your key objectives will include, but will not be restricted to, the activities required to monitor companies in your portfolio and mitigate/prevent claims. In order to work in this role you will need experience in financial analysis, and conducting meetings, have good business acumen, gravitas and integrity.
Requirements & Key Skills: Education to degree standard or equivalent or banking/finance/insurance experience with a relevant professional qualification. Proven experience of analysing financial, economic and other information to assess credit risk. Extensive experience of reading and interpreting profit and loss, balance sheets and other financial documents. Experience of holding high profile meetings with influential heads of business. Exceptional interpersonal skills. Proven report writing proficiency. Full clean UK driving license. Please apply through the e-recruitment system located on the careers page of our website - click here. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Telemarketing Executive, London. Euler Hermes Services UK. Salary: Depending on experience plus flexitime, non-contributory pension, share incentive scheme, discounted gym membership, discounted healthcare and additional benefits.
To create, maintain and develop a pool of prospects in order to secure qualified meetings for the Direct Sales Force resulting in achievement of targeted appointment levels and revenue.
Responsibilities: To effectively monitor and implement prompt credit limit decisions, monitoring and providing excellent communication within agreed service levels. To assess credit limits consistently and correctly within prescribed times in order to ensure renewal, new business targets and loss ratios are achieved. To provide quality responses in respect of agreed reschedulings so that our customers are given informed business decisions and losses are mitigated. To reassess proactively business procedures and recommend changes on an ongoing basis to reduce costs and to improve customer service. To meet clients, buyers and brokers (internationally if required) in order to keep loss ratios to a minimum, maximise cover and ensure renewal.
Requirements & Key Skills: Educated to degree standard or equivalent. Positive attitude together with a desire to succeed. Minimum twelve months telemarketing/telesales negotiation experience. Minimum twelve months experience in an outbound Business to Business role. Please apply through the e-recruitment system located on the careers page of our website - click here. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Commercial Business Consultant, Dublin. Euler Hermes Services Ireland. Salary: DOE, plus excellent commission scheme, pension scheme, company car, laptop, discounted healthcare and additional benefits.
If you are looking to develop and grow your already exceptional sales talent within a thriving company then look no further. In order to succeed in this role you will need to deliver budgeted revenue of direct new business sales to the SME and corporate market. You will possess a positive, pro-active attitude along with a passion and drive to succeed. This is a challenging role for an experienced new business; business to business field sales person.
Responsibilities: To deliver good quality new business revenue. To represent Euler Hermes in a professional and ethical manner. To deliver self prospected appointments and manage local database of prospects. To develop a network of local introducers and brokers. To provide accurate management information on a regular basis.
Requirements & Key Skills: A proven track record in new business to business field sales. An exceptional level of business acumen and commercial awareness. Corporate in both manner and appearance. The ability to read and perform basic analysis of a set of accounts. Experienced in consultative selling. The ability to present technical information effectively. Please apply through the e-recruitment system located on the careers page of our website - click here. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Political Risk Underwriter - Singapore.
NEW OPPORTUNITY - Global Political & Credit Risk Insurer is seeking an Underwriter to join their Singapore office. Outstanding opportunity to experience the dynamic and evolving insurance environment within the Far East. Great package and team environment. 1-3yrs experience Underwriting or 3-5yrs broking within the PRI market essential. Outgoing & social character a must. Contact us on Kerren.Leach@eamesconsulting.com (London) or Mark.Sheldon@eamesconsulting.com (Singapore). Please mention that you saw this job in Credit Insurance News Digest).

Client Manager, Aon Trade Credit. Reading. Competitive salary, plus a comprehensive benefits package.
Aon is currently recruiting a Client Manager to join our Trade Credit team based in Reading. As a Client Manager some of your key responsibilities will involve: Under instruction and direction of Client Directors, helping with renewal, retention and growth of existing accounts with effective client relationships and ongoing servicing needs. Working on a portfolio of accounts to ensure that relevant information is shared among client team and required actions are taken to meet clients' needs. Acting as a contact within a broking team for a portfolio of clients to ensure client needs and expectations are met. Dealing with Client and Insurer day to day matters arising e.g. chasing/questioning/broking credit limit decisions, following up progress on reported buyers overdue in making payment to client for goods sold and delivered on credit terms. Assisting with preparation for Policy renewal. Where appropriate liaise with Aon network on Global Client outward/inward business. Developing and improving the day to day client relationship and client experience. Providing advice to clients and colleagues on market developments and sharing knowledge of market trends to enhance the overall value proposition. As a Client Manager your skills and qualifications will ideally include: Educated to A Level standard or equivalent, with work experience in Credit Management, trade finance, and or international affairs. An understanding of, and interest in, the Insurance market. CII progress and an understanding of the client including risks, strategic and financial drivers would be advantageous An enthusiastic and innovative Team player, with the ability to handle significant workflow through efficient time management. To apply, please contact Samantha Cook at samantha.cook@aon.co.uk or call 0207 0860181. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Credit Account Executive, Leeds. Salary up to £50,000 dependent upon experience.
An exciting opportunity has arisen within a specialist Broker to join their established Credit Insurance Team, set within their Leeds based offices. The successful applicant will be responsible for developing a book of Credit Insurance clients through existing previous relationships and targeting new clients from a range of industries. The role is a client facing role and you will be responsible for generating leads, making and attending appointments to win the business. You must have the ability to communicate effectively to all different levels, have excellent sales skills and ideally have a proven track record in Credit Insurance from a broker or insurer perspective. Commercial Insurance candidates will be considered also who have a keen interest within Credit Insurance. This could also be the ideal opportunity for an Account Handler looking for the next step to being Account Executive. To apply please contact Helen Spriggs on 0113 308035 or email your CV to helen.spriggs@search.co.uk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying)

Account Handler, Credit Insurance, Birmingham £16,000 - £24,000 dependent upon experience + Benefits.
I have an excellent opportunity to work for a leading National Broker to work as an Account Handler in their Birmingham branch. The role is to deal with Credit insurance and to help manage a very healthy book of business. My client requires an individual who can provide support to a successful Account Executive with a large book of business. Have the ability to conduct renewals with clients and give instructions to Insurance providers. Develop positive and professional relationships with Insurers and Underwriters and promote effective communication. Previous experience within the Insurance Industry is a must preferably within Credit Insurance however someone from a Commercial Insurance background with an understanding of Credit Insurance will be considered. To apply please contact Helen Spriggs on 0113 308035 or email your CV to  helen.spriggs@search.co.uk. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Trade Credit Account Executive (Ref: SM/13765), Reading. Salary to £35,000 + car allowance, bonus and Benefits.
A national broking organisation is looking to recruit an energetic, driven and ambitious Trade Credit Account Executive to add to their already impressive client servicing team. The job holder will develop and service an account of Trade Credit business and deal with both SME and Corporate Trade Credit risks. To apply for this role, candidates should be self motivated, driven, organised and ambitious and will be either an existing Trade Credit Account or Development Executive, or someone with excellent commercial insurance experience. Sound technical knowledge of Trade Credit Insurance is a must, while experience of political risks this would be advantageous though it is not essential. Experience in providing specialised sales advice in the insurance market thorough understanding of the insurance market and products and sound relationship building skills are also required. The salary is dependent on experience, but will be market-leading, and flexible to attract the very best candidates in the market. The bonus scheme is superb and uncapped, and is complimented by a comprehensive benefits package to include Pension, Group Life, PMI, Free Car Parking and generous holiday allowance. To apply for this position please email Stephen Mallaband at stephen@cavendishmaine.com. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

New Appointments
CIFS has announced that it has enhanced its in-house claims underwriting capability with the appointment of Roxanne Thornhill, who joins from loss adjusters Cunningham Lindsey.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced that it has appointed Ken Ackroyd to be its first head of UK trade finance and insurance advisory services to oversee UKEF's team of 21 export finance advisers,. Mr Ackroyd previously held a number of senior positions at Barclays.

About this issue's sponsor: Nexus CIFS
Additional roles in Nexus CIFS’ risk underwriting teams, together with investment in new international business information sources, have provided the resources to enable the company to record another strong growth period.

With the backing of parent, Nexus Underwriting Management Ltd, the company’s management team has been empowered to execute the initial stages of a significant growth programme without compromising its widely-acknowledged underwriting excellence or its highly-regarded reputation for direct communication between underwriters and policyholders.

A major step for the company has been the establishment of a new division focused exclusively on single situation credit risk business in the Lloyd’s market. Headed by James Steele-Perkins, the new team is on track to deliver a sizeable book of business as international trade continues to expand – particularly in emerging markets.

Now, in its latest move the company has enhanced its in-house claims underwriting capability with the appointment of Roxanne Thornhill, who joins from loss adjusters Cunningham Lindsey.

Nexus CIFS is the only company to offer whole turnover policies 100% underwritten at Lloyd’s and markets exclusively through specialist credit insurance brokers. While building on market growth it also has plans to introduce a range of new products to complement its First Limit and Integrated Collections offerings.

The company is part of Nexus Underwriting Management Ltd, one of the largest Managing General Agents in the London market with a growing reputation for flexible and meticulous underwriting, strong security levels and innovative product development.

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